Tout Wars FAAB Report: Week of April 16

Welcome to the weekly Tout Wars FAAB report, on its new home right here on the Tout Wars site. Each week, we’ll review the free agent acquisitions from all five leagues, with commentary from a league member, as well as yours truly. We changed the timing of the weekly run to 1 PM ET every Sunday, with the report posted later that afternoon so you’ll have time to digest and apply to your own leagues. In addition, I’ll be joining Lawr Michaels and Justin Mason on the Tout Wars Hour on the FNTSY Network every Sunday at 3:20 PM ET to discuss the results.

You can find the complete list of Tout Warriors here. Everyone starts with 1000 FAAB units, less any penalty incurred by finishing below a designated point in the standings. This is a means of keeping everyone motivated to keep playing all season long. The minimum bid is $0. FAAB units can be traded as well as rebated for players released off the DL.

The report will list all winning bids along with unsuccessful tries and contingencies. This provides the maximum level of information to help gauge interest on the players.

The American and National League only formats are 12-team leagues, as is the new points-based head to head league, The Mixed Auction and Draft each have 15 clubs. All the leagues have four reserves with an unlimited DL, expect the head to head league, which allows six reserves.

The headings above each league are links to publicly accessible sites where you can see standings, roster and a complete review of transactions. The initial auctions and drafts can be found here.



RGuzman, Tex Jeff Erickson 77 Jason Collette 75 Lawr Michaels 73
Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 36 Mike Podhorzer 33
Rob Leibowitz 18 Seth Trachtman 1
AAlmonte, KC Vlad Sedler 39 Jason Collette 12 Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 6
Seth Trachtman 1
BJohnson, Bos Jeff Erickson 35 Rob Leibowitz 7 Seth Trachtman 1
MCanha, Oak Chris Liss 23 Jason Collette 15 Vlad Sedler 9
Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 1 Seth Trachtman 1
RRefsnyder, TB Rob Leibowitz 16 Doug Dennis 3 Seth Trachtman 1
SRomo, TB Mike Podhorzer 16 Seth Trachtman 1 Doug Dennis 0
IKinerFalefa, Tex Jason Collette 15 Mike Podhorzer 12 Lawr Michaels 3
Seth Trachtman 1
BGuyer, Cle Jason Collette 12 Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 1 Seth Trachtman 1
Rob Leibowitz 0
TLin, Bos Jason Collette 11 Seth Trachtman 1
BHolt, Bos Doug Dennis 7 Seth Trachtman 6 Jason Collette 3
CGentry, Bal Jason Collette 6 Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 6 Seth Trachtman 1
Rob Leibowitz 0
TSaladino, CWS Seth Trachtman 1 Doug Dennis 1 Jason Collette 0
Mike Podhorzer 0
RGoins, KC Seth Trachtman 1 Doug Dennis 1 Rob Leibowitz 0
JAlvarez, LAA Seth Trachtman 1 Doug Dennis 0
ALind, FA Rob Leibowitz 1
EAdrianza, Min Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 1 Jason Collette 0 Doug Dennis 0
RDull, Oak Lawr Michaels 0
DBarnes, Tor Patrick Davitt 0
TRogers, Min Doug Dennis 0
ARomine, Sea Mike Podhorzer 0


RGrossman, Min Jason Collette 6 Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 1 Rob Leibowitz 0
HHembree, Bos Seth Trachtman 1 Patrick Davitt 0
GUrshela, Cle Rob Leibowitz 1
JField, TB Jason Collette 1 Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 0
BRondon, CWS Patrick Davitt 0 Mike Podhorzer 0
CShreve, NYY Patrick Davitt 0
THill, KC Patrick Davitt 0
PAraujo, Bal Mike Podhorzer 0
BColon, Tex Doug Dennis 0

Seth Trachtmans’s’ Commentary

New Rangers first baseman Ronald Guzman was clearly the big prize in the AL this week, garnering bids from seven out of 12 teams. Jeff Erickson won him with impressive efficiency at $77, beating out Jason Collette’s $75 bid, as well as Lawr Michaels’ $73 attempt. The Rangers have been put in panic mode this week after losing both of their middle infielders, and it’s conceivable that Guzman will play the rest of the season on a team that has started the year 5-11, with two of the hottest teams in the AL in their division. That potential playing time volume is balanced out by limited upside, as Guzman has a career .334 on-base percentage in the minors and has never hit more than 16 home runs in a season.

With middle infielders Rougned Odor, Xander Bogaerts, Brad Miller, Elvis Andrus, and Jonathan Schoop all going on the DL in the last seven days, we also saw significant action in the middle infield market with names ranging from Rob Refsnyder ($16) to Ryan Goins ($1). I can’t speak for the rest of the league, but I claimed two new middle infielders this week (Goins and Tyler Saladino) and am hardly in the mood to brag about my purchases.

There wasn’t much pitching purchased this week, though Brian Johnson and Sergio Romo did fetch multiple bids. Romo has been effective early on as Tampa Bay’s setup man, while Rays closer Alex Colome has allowed at least a run in four of his six appearances. Johnson, meanwhile, made an excellent spot start on April 2 at Miami and has another spot start tomorrow vs. Baltimore.

Todd’s Take

In order to get this report posted Sunday evening, we moved the bid deadline to 1 PM ET/10 AM PT. Previously, it was Sunday at midnight ET. One of the concerns was not having Sunday’s action to help frame bids. While we knew it could occasionally hurt an owner, we obviously opted to run with the earlier deadline. Well, fellow Tout Wars board member Jeff Erickson was victimized by the change as Brian Johnson lost his only scheduled start next week due to the early postponement of the Patriot’s Day affair in Fenway Park. By rule, Jeff must keep Johnson active and with Drew Pomeranz expected to be back Thursday, Johnson will either head to Pawtucket or the bullpen.



AOttavino, Col Mike Gianella 156 Steve Gardner 21 Grey Albright 16
Brian Walton 2 Phil Hertz 2
Scott Wilderman 0
MPrado, Mia Lenny Melnick 105 Craig Mish 47 Scott Wilderman 2
Brian Walton 25
JuGuerra, Mil Mike Gianella 60 Brian Walton 12 Tristan H. Cockcroft 5
Scott Wilderman 1
CBettis, Col Phil Hertz 37 Steve Gardner 12 Tristan H. Cockcroft 2
Brian Walton 1
KFarmer, LAD Phil Hertz 33 Todd Zola 7 Tristan H. Cockcroft 0
DMesoraco, Cin Tristan H. Cockcroft 26 Mike Gianella 0 Todd Zola 7
Phil Hertz 2 Scott Wilderman 2
JShuck, Mia Craig Mish 13 Brian Walton 5
MWilliamson, SF Craig Mish 11
SCishek, ChC Lenny Melnick 10 Mike Gianella 0
JMathis, Ari Todd Zola 7
MoSierra, Was Craig Mish 6 Brian Walton 4
HBailey, Cin Steve Gardner 6 Phil Hertz 22 Brian Walton 1
SRodriguez, Pit Phil Hertz 4 Craig Mish 1 Brian Walton 1
Phil Hertz 0
AniSanchez, Atl Tristan H. Cockcroft 2 Phil Hertz 5 Brian Walton 1
SKelley, Was Scott Wilderman 0


EDiaz, Pit Todd Zola 4 Tristan H. Cockcroft 0 Phil Hertz 0
ERamos, Phi Phil Hertz 2
VArano, Phi Phil Hertz 2
JMurphy, Ari Phil Hertz 1 Tristan H. Cockcroft 0
ASenzatela, Col Mike Gianella 0
BKintzler, Was Mike Gianella 0
FPena, StL Todd Zola 0
GKontos, Pit Mike Gianella 0
JARamirez, Atl Mike Gianella 0
JLobaton, NYM Tristan H. Cockcroft 0
JMcGee, Col Mike Gianella 0
MFeliz, Pit Mike Gianella 0
ODespaigne, Mia Mike Gianella 0
PBaez, LAD Mike Gianella 0
PMaton, SD Phil Hertz 0
PSewald, NYM Scott Wilderman 0
RErlin, SD Tristan H. Cockcroft 0
TNido, NYM Phil Hertz 0

Brian Walton’s Commentary

A former National League Tout champion, Mike Gianella, was in the center of the bidding action this week – both in his successful offers as well as by sparking a bidding war won by another. The Baseball Prospectus writer was the most aggressive player in the Week 3 bidding, nabbing Colorado setup man Adam Ottavino and Milwaukee starter Junior Guerra for a total of $216.

Though former closer Ottavino is not a threat to current closer Wade Davis, the right-handed pitcher donning the uniform number “0” has been lights out in his defined set up role. Ottavino has a whopping 18 strikeouts against just one hit and one walk in 8.1 scoreless innings in 2018.

Guerra, who hit harder times after having been named Milwaukee’s Opening Day starter in 2017, did not initially make the Brewers rotation out of camp this spring. In fact, he was banished to Triple-A. However, given another shot after injuries and ineffectiveness has made a mess of Milwaukee’s staff, the 33-year old threw 5 1/3 innings of one-run ball at the hot-hitting Cardinals on Wednesday. In his two-start week ahead, Guerra draws two cupcakes at home – the Reds and Marlins.

How did Gianella impact others’ bids, too, you ask?

Interestingly, Gianella had cashed in Miami’s Martin Prado for a FAAB reclaim of just $10 this past week. (Owners of injured players can receive a rebate of 10 times the initial price paid, on in this case, $1 x 10 = $10.)

That put Prado on the waiver wire, where Lenny Melnick won a bidding war that ended at $105 – despite the fact that the third baseman still has to complete his minor league rehab stint before being able to contribute.

Since Prado could have remained on Gianella’s unlimited-in-size disabled list until activated by the Marlins, it might initially seem surprising for Mike to give up on Prado for a relatively small take. However, while perhaps Gianella could have fetched more for Prado in trade, he ended up burning $105 from one his competitors plus securing $10 for a player in whom he obviously had invested almost nothing and did not need.

If Melnick gets the last laugh, it won’t be for a while, at least.

Todd’s Take

Sometimes a mistake can be serendipitous. I am playing with the short stack of FAAB, incurring a penalty for a low finish last season. As such, I vowed to aggressive in bidding, since I’m not going to be in the mix at the MLB trade deadline so why not make sure I get the guys I want early. I need a placeholder catcher until Steven Vogt returns. I don’t want to break the bank, but every stat matters so I wanted the best available backstop. While doing research, I read Kyle Farmer will be filling it at third while Logan Forsythe is out. The problem is, Farmer was incorrectly listed as catcher-eligible. So, while I should have bid more, I caught a break (pun intended) since I couldn’t use him. I’d have to activate Vogt and keep Farmer in my lineup.

This wasn’t the only mistake (I was scrambling to get bids in while tracking the rain outs and adjusting columns on Sunday and Monday’s slate, but that’s no excuse). I also was too conservative on Devin Mesoraco and completely messed up, bidding on Jeff Mathis instead of John Ryan Murphy. For my lack of effort, I am the not-so-proud owner of Mathis.

Good times.

Todd’s Take, Part 2

Okay, so I’ve been reminded of Tout Wars eligibility rules. Farmer is indeed eligible at catcher. Here’s the relevant clause:

If a player did not appear in 15 games at any position, or did not appear the prior season in the majors at all, he qualifies at the one position he played most frequently the prior season in any league(s) he played in combined. If a player sat out the previous year for any reason, his eligibility will be determined by the last season in which he played professional baseball in the United States.

Last year with the Dodgers, Farmer appeared at third base four times while catching three times. In some leagues, this leads to third base only. However, since Farmer failed to amass 15 games at the MLB level, we head down to the farm (fitting, in this case) to find 51 games behind the plate and 29 at the hot corner. Another way of saying that is Phil Hertz has a catcher and I have egg on my face.



BNorris, StL Tim Heaney 126 Scott Engel 54 Tim McLeod 47
Brent Hershey 45
TRoss, SD Joe Pisapia 88 Tim Heaney 56 Zach Steinhorn 52
Ray Flowers 49 Scott Engel 45
Tim McLeod 35 Scott Swanay 34
Fred Zinkie 10 Derek VanRiper 2
NDelmonico, CWS Derek VanRiper 77 Fred Zinkie 20 Bret Sayre 16
Scott Engel 3
JJimenez, Det Jeff Zimmerman 73
KWong, StL Ray Flowers 59 Zach Steinhorn 3
THernandez, Tor Tim McLeod 41 Derek VanRiper 57 Tim Heaney 36
Fred Zinkie 5
BZobrist, ChC Ron Shandler 37 Ray Flowers 49 Zach Steinhorn 33
Scott Swanay 28 Scott Engel 21
Bret Sayre 16 Joe Pisapia 12
Tim McLeod 6 Scott Pianowski 0
MKemp, LAD Scott Engel 34 Ron Shandler 37 Derek VanRiper 27
Joe Pisapia 12 Jeff Zimmerman 3
JProfar, Tex Brent Hershey 32 Ron Shandler 27 Zach Steinhorn 23
Derek VanRiper 22 Tim McLeod 17
Scott Pianowski 3
AOttavino, Col Fred Zinkie 30 Ray Flowers 29 Joe Pisapia 8
Jeff Zimmerman 2 Scott Swanay 0
DMengden, Oak Derek VanRiper 27
FLiriano, Det Bret Sayre 27
NTropeano, LAA Al Melchior 20 Derek VanRiper 27
YSanchez, CWS Fred Zinkie 20 Derek VanRiper 22 Al Melchior 10
WDifo, Was Zach Steinhorn 12
DMesoraco, Cin Ron Shandler 5
BRondon, CWS Tim McLeod 5
DMachado, Det Al Melchior 1


RGuzman, Tex Tim McLeod 29
JWendle, TB Derek VanRiper 27 Zach Steinhorn 8
SRomo, TB Al Melchior 18
AWainwright, StL Derek VanRiper 17
JFields, LAD Jeff Zimmerman 2
SBrault, Pit Derek VanRiper 2
MStassi, Hou Ron Shandler 1
PSeverino, Was Ron Shandler 1
DLeone, StL Jeff Zimmerman 1
DDescalso, Ari Fred Zinkie 0
RFlaherty, Atl Fred Zinkie 0
RStripling, LAD Fred Zinkie 0
DValencia, Bal Derek VanRiper 0
SPearce, Tor Derek VanRiper 0
TNaquin, Cle Derek VanRiper 0

Todd’s Take

Wait, isn’t Greg Holland closing for the Cardinals? While it’s true St. Louis signed Holland, ostensibly to work the ninth, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Right now, Norris is crushing it, fanning 14 with just one walk in 7.2 innings, posting three saves along the way. Don’t drop Holland (unless you really need the roster spot), but for now, the gig belongs to Norris.



FCordero, SD Tom Kessenich 271 Adam Ronis 73 Gene McCaffrey 68
Perry Van Hook 37 Charlie Wiegert 2
NSenzel, Cin Rudy Gamble 227 Ray Murphy 111
BNorris, StL Jeff Boggis 102 Adam Ronis 2
THernandez, Tor Adam Ronis 78 Gene McCaffrey 57 D.J. Short 20
NTropeano, LAA D.J. Short 60 Ray Murphy 23 Rudy Gamble 4
Adam Ronis 2
ZWheeler, NYM Perry Van Hook 37 Ray Murphy 35 Adam Ronis 8
Scott White 0
JuGuerra, Mil Perry Van Hook 36 Adam Ronis 3
BZobrist, ChC Perry Van Hook 31 Charlie Wiegert 2
AOttavino, Col Ray Murphy 24 Adam Ronis 14
HBailey, Cin Ray Murphy 24
TRoss, SD Adam Ronis 14 Jeff Boggis 6 Scott White 0
ADiaz, Tor Rudy Gamble 7 Scott White 0
BGoodwin, Was Gene McCaffrey 7 Charlie Wiegert 3
MJoyce, Oak Charlie Wiegert 6 Perry Van Hook 3
BSuter, Mil Rudy Gamble 4 Perry Van Hook 3
JProfar, Tex Scott White 0 Adam Ronis 26


RGuzman, Tex Adam Ronis 33 Charlie Wiegert 3
MAdams, Was Gene McCaffrey 7 Perry Van Hook 3
DSpan, TB Tom Kessenich 5
MBoyd, Det Adam Ronis 4
FGalvis, SD Tom Kessenich 3
JarGarcia, Mia Perry Van Hook 3
JJimenez, Det Perry Van Hook 3
TNaquin, Cle Perry Van Hook 3
JMarte, LAA Charlie Wiegert 2
SPearce, Tor Charlie Wiegert 2

Perry Van Hook’s Commentary

Despite only 10 of 15 teams bidding Sunday, there was more than 1000 of FAAB used to acquire 16 players in Tout’s Mixed Draft league.

The high bidders were Tom Kessenich who won Padre fly chaser Franchy Cordero for $271. Cordero is an interesting player, a shortstop when he reported to rookie ball in AZ years ago, he had speed and good results when bat met ball, the Padres just needed to find a position for him to play and for him to make more consistent contact.  He really wanted to make the major league roster this year so he went to Winter Ball and was named Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable player, prompting the Padres staff to watch for him in March. He was very, very close to making the club in spring training but suffered an injury and headed to rehab and to wait for his chance which arrived when Manuel Margot was put on the DL this week.
The other large bid was by Rudy Gamble, trying to secure the services of the Reds’ best prospect Nick Senzel when he arrives. Rudy gambled $227 on the young third baseman and will be scanning the transaction list every day.
While off to a decent start, I needed to improve my pitching staff and upgrade my weakest outfield slot while not overspending.  I won the resurrgent Met hurler Zack Wheeler for $37, knowing that he has one start on Tuesday (at home vs WAS) but might get a second next Sunday. My underbid for him was Junior Guerra of the Brewers who is definitely scheduled for two starts, so I put him atop a second pitcher group and won him for $36. The aforementioned Cordero was my first outfield choice but while outbid by a lot there I was glad to add Ben Zobrist for $31 in a week where the versatile Cub has three games at home and three at Coors.

Todd’s Take

Adding to Zobrist’s allure is Tout Wars is an OBP league and the Cubs jack-of-all-trades has a penchant for getting on base. Though, keep in mind Anthony Rizzo is due back, but Joe Maddon will likely find a way to keep Zobrist in the lineup.

Nick Tropeano has always been interesting. He carries a decent strikeout rate without excessive walks. He’s put this on display at the MLB level in between injuries. Healthy, at least for now, Tropeano has cemented a spot in the Angels six-man rotation. He won’t get many, if any two-start weeks, but backed by a stellar defense and supported by a solid offense, Tropeano is certainly mixed-league worthy.



HRamirez, Bos Michael Rathburn 379 Kyle Elfrink 136 Andrea LaMont 89
Justin Mason 51 Jake Ciely 24
IKennedy, KC Jake Ciely 67 Michael Rathburn 26 Peter Kreutzer 4
JLowrie, Oak Michael Rathburn 52 Howard Bender 31
MJoyce, Oak Kyle Elfrink 51 Justin Mason 0
ACabrera, NYM Kyle Elfrink 43 Howard Bender 39 Kyle Elfrink 38
Michael Rathburn 27 Peter Kreutzer 17
Justin Mason 10 Andrea LaMont 1
KMiddleton, LAA Kyle Elfrink 39 Andrea LaMont 24 Dr. Roto 7
ZWheeler, NYM Jake Ciely 38 Howard Bender 18 Peter Kreutzer 7
Andrea LaMont 7
BMcCarthy, Atl Michael Rathburn 36 Peter Kreutzer 7
HKendrick, Was Howard Bender 29 Kyle Elfrink 15 Justin Mason 0
JLucchesi, SD Howard Bender 28 Dr. Roto 5
FCervelli, Pit Jake Ciely 23 Justin Mason 0
THernandez, Tor Andrea LaMont 18
AOttavino, Col Andrea LaMont 14 Kyle Elfrink 22 Andrea LaMont 12


JuGuerra, Mil Michael Rathburn 13
BAnderson, Mia Peter Kreutzer 12
SMatz, NYM Dr. Roto 7 Andrea LaMont 12
SBrault, Pit Peter Kreutzer 7 Howard Bender 8
CSabathia, NYY Peter Kreutzer 5
NDelmonico, CWS Jake Ciely 2
HRenfroe, SD Jake Ciely 2
JCandelario, Det Andrea LaMont 1
COwings, Ari Justin Mason 0
KSuzuki, Atl Justin Mason 0

Todd’s Take

Talking with Justin Mason on this week’s Tout Wars Hour on the FNTSY Network, he noted two competitors, Michael Rathburn and Howard Bender have been very aggressive so far. This puts the bidders in a bit of a conundrum. Do they have to be equally as aggressive to secure players they want, or will Howard and Michael play it conservatively for a while? Writing these reports for as many years as I have, my guess would be Justin and his league mates are probably going to have to loosen the purse strings. Having 1000 to bid, with $0 bids allowed usually leads to aggressive bidders remaining as such. We’ll see.